Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Miracles & interview with one of the contributors

Authors: Cecil Murphey & Marley Gibson
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-58983-7
Genre: Inspirational/Christmas

CHRISTMAS MIRACLES is a collection of many short stories, all of them true, that the authors consider miracles, and all of which happen around Christmas time.

In this book, the authors show how miracles can happen to real people during the Christmas season, people who have overcome desperate situations through a miraculous twist of fate.

For instance:

. a young boy sits down to read a book and discovers that his learning disability has vanished.
. a woman stranded in a blizzard is rescued by a mysterious stranger she believes is an angel
. a couple traveling during the holidays have their tire changed by strangers they believe are angels.

I could really relate to a few of the stories. We had “angels” appear and help us – when we had car trouble on a trip, people just appeared after we prayed who had everything we needed – this happened to us twice. I truly believe that God sent Angels to us these occasions, though I know many are skeptical.

CHRISTMAS MIRACLES is a book that anyone would enjoy getting for Christmas. This is a book full of hope, happiness, and holiday cheer. An excellent gift for anyone this season. $14.99. 256 pages.

Bonus interview with Tracy Rickman

Can you tell me about your book?

My story, “Miracle of the Nativity,” is included in the beautiful book Christmas Miracles by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson. My story reminds us that God cares about us and loves us, even during the hardest times of our lives. It’s mind-boggling to realize that the tiniest details don’t escape His attention or His love.

What are you working on now?

I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month this year for the first time! YIKES! So I’m writing the second novel in a PI series, and I’m very excited about it.

Who or what inspired you to write?

One incident when I was 13 stands out more than anything else. A friend was going through a difficult time of loneliness. I wrote a dramatic poem about it and for some odd reason shared it with my dad, who, by that time of my life, was in the heavy grip of alcoholism. But he was sober that night as he read Sea of Loneliness. He cried, thinking I was writing it about myself. It took me awhile to convince him it was about my friend, but the realization that my writing could make someone cry was an experience that I’ll probably never forget.

What is your favorite verse, and why?

My favorite verses change almost weekly, as I delve further in Bible study. I’m always draw especially to Psalm 103, but many of Paul’s and Luke’s writings speak to me, too.

How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life?

I hope readers of Christmas Miracles will take away a sense of awe and wonder at God’s miraculous ways, and that they begin recognizing the miracles He performs in their very own lives.

How did you become a Christian?

I was raised in church – went to Sunday School, VBS, sometimes big church – and even went through confirmation. But it wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I realized I didn’t really have a clue about Jesus. I didn’t have a personal relationship, and I didn’t know that He had died for ME! At that point, I asked Him to be my Savior, and I set out to try to be as good of a person as I could be. But I failed. Miserably. I made mistakes, stupid choices, and basically let my flesh control my life for years. Oh, I professed my faith, and witnessed to people about how God could save them, I was active in church and I believed the Bible with my whole heart. But then, one day, after He once again pulled me from a pit of depression and despair, and blessed me in a way I could not explain and did not deserve, I realized I was not living a life worthy of the title Christian. So I mended my ways, and although I’m still far from perfect, I now hold myself – my words and my actions – accountable to Him. It’s very freeing.

How has your book been received from its readers?

It’s awesome! We’ve just learned that the book has gone into another printing, it’s headed for the best-seller lists, and it’s going to be printed in Swedish, so we’re all very excited!

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life?

I’m happily married to a newly-retired (and very happy) man. We live in the boonies of Alabama with our spoiled-rotten dog. Our life is very simple, peaceful, and considered boring by some. 

I’m the proud mom of two grown sons who live in metro Atlanta.

What is your current ring tone?

Tim and I share a cell phone right now – and the ring tone is one I got especially for him when he was still working. It’s John Wayne’s voice, saying, “Alright Pilgrim, while I call you, pick up the phone, okay. Press the green button there, Pilgrim.” LOL!

What is your earliest memory?

Fishing with my dad. He taught me how to fly fish, and by the time I was five years old, I was using an adult-sized flyrod that I still use to this day.

How can our readers purchase your book?

Christmas Miracles is available at Wal-mart, most bookstores, or they can order online.

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